I probably need a jumping off point concerning some of the flashlights I’ve been getting. If I mention a light in another post, you can come here and see which one I am talking about.
iTP EOS A3 – Tiny Flashlight 1xAAA light. Twists on and off with 3 modes, always starting with medium, then low, then high. Amazingly bright (180 lumens) with a li-ion battery even though it is not recommended. I bought some one-mode versions of these lights for everyone at work who worked on the 2009 flood bridge for me and for the Mac5 families at Christmas. I figured they would be annoyed by the extra modes and although I wouldn’t give them li-ion batteries, I did include an Energizer lithium battery (probably 100 lumens). Originally purchased in October 2009, but I lost it the following September and replaced it with a black one, then got a titanium one in November used. In November I found the gray one again in my yard near to the front walkway, so Jeb bought it from me. Now I keep the black one on my keychain.
Mini Maglite upgrades – I bought two of these upgrades which make my two 2xAA Mini Maglites very bright (100 lumens). The upgrade is the Terralux TLE-5EX. I had to grind down the edges of one of them to make it fit into my black older Maglite. I also got a smaller upgrade chip (Terralux TLE-20) for my 2xAAA Mini Maglite, but it is not nearly as bright. Still, it will last longer on a set of batteries. I bought a tail switch for the silver 2xAA light and keep it next to the back door in case I need to rush out at night to see what the dogs have gotten into. The black MiniMag is in my car. May 2009.
Fenix L1D/L2D/P2D I bought the L2D, a 2xAA light which is very bright and has 4 brightness levels as well as strobe and SOS. This is my best flashlight. I also bought “lego” pieces that let me convert it to a 1xAA light (the L1D) or a 1xCR123 light (the P2D). I like the size of the L1D, but at 120 lumens it isn’t as bright as the L2D at 180 lumens. If you put a li-ion battery in the L1D, it is just as bright as the L2D, but you lose the ability to go to lower levels. May 2009.
Versapak Snakelight – This got it all started because I wanted to see if I could upgrade the bulb to a LED. I bought a weak Nite-Ize LED at Fry’s for it which was just as bright (though definitely has a blue tint) as the original bulb but would last ten times longer on a charge. Then I upgraded again to the 1-watt Terralux TLE-1F which made it brighter (30 lumens) and somewhat less blue (should have gotten the Nite-Ize 1-watt), though battery life is less than the weak LED (still way longer than the original bulb). The Snakelight still has some use since you can put it down and have it point in any direction. May 2009.
Ultrafire XP-E F23 – A DealExtreme 1xAAA light. Took forever to get here, but this is a very nice light (especially for only $13.80). Not quite as bright as the iTP on a li-ion battery (maybe 150 lumens), but it remembers the last mode it was in, so you don’t have to click through medium and low to get back to high again. If it was on high before, it will come on in high. Also has a tail clicky which is easier for one-hand use. This is a good dog-walking light. I gave this one to Nicole and then ordered another one. My review. December 2009.
Uniquefire S10 This was a bad decision light that turned out to have none of the qualities I wanted in a new flashlight. It wasn’t brighter, wouldn’t accept lithium-ion batteries, had a terrible user interface (I didn’t know those three things when I ordered it), had three different flashy modes, and a reverse clicky. I wound up burning out the driver and converting it to a very bright direct drive 1-mode light using lithium-ion batteries. It is about the same size as the Fenix L1D, but silver. My review. December 2009.
Ultrafire WF-502B This is my first P60 drop-in host and my first light to take 18650 batteries (so I had to buy a couple of batteries and a charger). After thinking about getting a P60 for a Cree XP-G R5 LED, I decided to get this less expensive Cree XR-E R2 LED which has can shine a beam pretty far and then maybe invest in a brighter R5 drop-in later on which would have more flood but less throw. I really like the quality of this light, but I didn’t like that it was 5 modes. I converted it to 2 modes with memory when I swapped drivers. January 2010. My review at BudgetLightForum.
Ultrafire MCU WF-1200L After researching a lot of multi-die emitter lights (4 LED’s packed together on a chip) which promise 600 lumens or more, I found this one for sale used in a CPF classified ad for about half of its brand new price. It has a Seoul Semiconductor P7 LED and takes 2 18650 batteries (the seller sold me two batteries for an extra $5). This one can be taken apart (some MTE lights have a glued-on bezel) and has a larger reflector for better throw. February 2010. My review at BudgetLightForum. In December 2010, I upgraded the LED to a Cree XM-L T6 which got rid of the donut hole and greenish tint this light originally had, but seems to be just as bright.
ZY-30 Flood to Throw Light The unique thing about this 3xAAA light is that it has an aspherical lens (like a fisheye lens) on the front that can be moved backwards and forwards like a camera zoom lens to provide an even flood of light or narrowed to a very tight beam. A seller on eBay was offering lights with the Cree XR-E Q5 LED while DX seemed to only have P4 bins (or SSC P4 LED’s?), plus this one offered a high and low mode. My review at Budget Light Forums. March 2010. Gave to Jeb in June 2010.
AKOray K-106 3-mode Programmable took forever to get here since I ordered it so close to Chinese New Year’s and then it sat at the local post office for 3 weeks. It is a pretty neat light, but not quite as bright as I hoped it would be. In an effort to make it brighter, I changed the LED to a XP-G R5, but it still isn’t that bright. Eventually I put a neutral XP-G R4 in it. March 2010. My review at BLF.
Ultrafire WF-502B with 1-mode XP-G Drop-in Similar to the 504B above, but this 1×18650 P60 host comes with the latest LED from Cree, the XP-G in their brightest bin, R5. Got a 1-mode because it was a little cheaper and I planned on swapping the driver out anyway. April 2010 My review at BLF
Aurora SH-035 Stainless steel light from a series with a good reputation, but the driver burned out when I tried a lithium-ion battery. So I wound up changing the LED from a XP-E Q5 to a neutral white XP-G R4, replaced the driver, and replaced the glow-in-the-dark tailcap with a black one. April 2010.
UltraFire WF-501B with 5-mode MC-E. A chance to get an inexpensive 4-die emitter in a P60 drop-in. It was said to be driven at 2+ amps, but I measured 1.6A. I replaced the driver with a better one that I was sure would yield 2.8A, but it was 1.6A too. It turns out the leads on my voltmeter were giving bad readings, so I bought new leads. Puts out a lot of light, but has a donut hole in the beam. The 501B host itself is not so great. I baked it and got a nice reddish copper color. My review at BLF. July 2010.
SolarForce L2 host (fake): Bought from a discounter who said it was a genuine SolarForce, but actually it is a fake and seems to be the same as the UltraFire WF-504B I have except it is black. Still, not bad and came with an extension tube for using a second 18650 battery (though none of my drop-ins can handle two batteries). It is an empty host, so I will need to add a bulb and reflector. July 2010.
SolarForce L2 host: After being duped on the other one, I got a “gunmetal gray” SolarForce on eBay on sale. It is well made, but is also an empty host so I will add a bulb and reflector. My comparison of the two versions of Solarforce lights on BLF. July 2010.
UniqueFire AA-S1 1-mode light uses an Osram Golden Dragon LED (most of my lights have Cree LED’s; Osram is a German company). It is very bright on a single AA battery and even brighter on a lithium-ion. Looks like a twin of the AKOray K-106. Review at BLF. September 2010. I brought this in to work to show a friend who was interested in a small cheap light and he bought it from me on the spot. I don’t think I’ll replace it.
Mr.Lite BLF AA-Y4E Custom made light for Budget Light Forum. Four modes, none flashy. Features a collimator lens for improved throw. My review at BLF. November 2010.
Black Cat HM-01 1xAAA 1-mode light with a warm tinted Osram LED. The beam is very ringy, but this is a pretty decent light and the tint is even warmer than my neutral tinted XP-G R5’s. My review at BLF. November 2010.
Solarforce L2i Really just a host (doesn’t have a bulb or reflector), but I plan on getting a drop-in for it soon. Unlike my other P60 lights which take 18650 lithium-ion batteries, this one runs on 3 AAA batteries held in a carrier. The 3 AAA’s don’t have as much capacity so it won’t run for as long, but the batteries are more common. I picked “sand” color for this one, but I think I like the L2’s gunmetal gray better. Such a great light, I made customized versions to give to Mom and Grant.
I bought another Ultrafire WF-502B, this time with a Cree XR-E Q5 LED just because it was so cheap: $5.63 shipped. It also came with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a charger. But the charger didn’t work and the flashlight isn’t as good as my original one, so I’ll probably only use it for parts. I baked this one and it came out a really nice copper color.
Solarforce L2p is a deluxe version of the L2, with more durable anodizing, gold-plated interior (more gold-tinted), a milder bezel, and the ability to tailstand. I put a very bright Cree XM-L 3-mode drop-in in it that I got on a special deal from Manafont. The problem with this light is the battery chamber is a little too long so it doesn’t work with all combinations of drop-ins and batteries.
Ultrafire X1 isn’t a great flashlight, but it is compact and takes an 18650 battery. I got it to sort of replace the Quark I had bought and returned. After some initial tests, I took out the driver and LED and replaced them with upgrades, the XR-E Q5 LED being upgraded to a neutral tinted XP-G R4 and the original 5-mode 1 amp driver being replaced with a 3-mode 1.4 amp driver. Puts out a lot more light but doesn’t shine as far as it originally did. It is my main summertime dog walking light (smaller than a wintertime light because I’m not wearing a coat to carry it in). Also replaced the lens with AR coated glass and the glow-in-the-dark tail cap cover with an orange spare from my Fenix.
Skyray S-R5 is a clone of a Lumens Factory Seraph. Really unique design (the original anyway). Has a retro future look to it with rubber rings around it for better grip and fins near the front for better heat sinking. I put a drop-in with a neutral XM-L that I built in this one. June 2011.
Lumapower MRV clone I had bought a couple of neutral-tinted Cree XM-L LED’s. One of them went into the Skyray above, but I wanted to put the other in something with more throw. A lot of people like the Ultrafire C8 model because it has a bigger reflector and better heat sinking than a P60 light. This one has the shiny aluminum (maybe stainless) accent and the same size reflector as the C8. The clicky is a little too stiff and this generic clone was missing a couple of o-rings. I put the same 2.8 amp driver in this as the P60 and on medium it is as bright as most of my other lights. July 2011.
Tank007 E07 BLF Edition The E07 is usually a 1-mode light, but Tank007 and retailer Manafont built a special edition 3-mode light for Budget Light Forum. It was supposed to have mode order of Low Medium High and instead is HML. It was also supposed to have a neutral tint but most people got cool tints. Also the battery tube is a little too short so you can’t screw the head down all the way. So it wasn’t what we hoped for, but it isn’t a bad light. It has an Osram Golden Dragon LED in it for maybe 80 lumens on High with a NiMH battery and maybe 150 lumens on a lithium ion cell. My review. September 2011.
Sunwayman V10A My most expensive light, but got a very good deal on it at Dino Direct. Has a forward clicky for momentary on and ring near the front to select any brightness from less than 1 lumen to maximum output. Accepts a lithium ion 14500 for greater output, but also takes an AA battery. Use a Cree XP-G LED. I would have preferred a neutral tint instead of cool white, but Sunwayman hasn’t released any neutrals and it seems unlikely at this point. My review. October 2011.
Uniquefire UF-2100 Got a good deal on this light as well. It is a compact 18650 light similar to the Ultrafire X1 above, but has a much brighter XM-L LED. Comes with 3 modes: High, Low, and Strobe, but some people found out you could alter the circuit board to get 5 modes, adding a Medium (and SOS). I wound up baking this light to a nice brown color. My review. October 2011.
Tank007 E09 Another really bright AAA light with 3 modes. I liked it so much, I bought another one in gray (first one was black), but then gave away the black one. My review. March 2012.
Sipik SK68 A one-mode light with a zoom lens feature. It was really cheap, and actually this clone does not have any brand on it. I think one mode works better with this type of light so that you don’t have to worry about modes and zooming, just zooming. I like the looks of it. March 2012.
ThruNite Ti A 2-mode twisty light that comes on in Low and then bumps up to High as you keep turning. These went on a special sale for only $5, so both Jeb and I got one. I traded the pink one I got for his black one. July 2012.
Maglite Solitaire LED I’m not generally a fan of Maglites which tend to be underpowered, but this one uses an LED I had never seen before, a Luxeon C, so I bought it so that I could put a picture of the LED on the Flashlight Wiki. This is a decent 1-mode AAA light with 2-hour battery life, but not all that much output. My review. October 2012.
ThruNite Saber 1A This was a special edition made for BLF. With the fairly new Cree XP-G2 LED and well-spaced modes of Moonlight, Low, and High, I figured it was a good purchase. Some people have problems with this 1xAA twisty, but I like it. April 2013.
UltraFire C8 I got a great deal on this light for $8.99 from Aurabuy. I never had a C8 light. This smallish light throws a long way and for a cheap light, the LED is mounted perfectly. I’d like to swap in a new driver and neutral LED at some point. April 2013.
Xeno E03 I wanted to get a small clicky light with the high CRI neutral tinted Nichia 219 LED and this is about the only choice. I’m not crazy about the modes (Medium, Low, High) and it doesn’t have memory, but the LED is great and it is pretty bright on High. I got the blue version. August 2013.